Sepang: Karun Chandhok’s maiden race in the inaugural Formula Asia Renault V6 series ended in unfortunate circumstances when his car stalled while leading by 10 seconds with three laps to go in round two at the Sepang F1 Circuit here on Sunday.
It was a sad finish to an otherwise brilliant weekend for the Indian driver and his Korean team E-Racing who dominated the qualifying sessions on Saturday as well as the first race on Sunday when Chandhok and his teammate Hanss Lin made it a 1-2 finish.
“The DNFS (did not finish) will catch up ultimately, and Ananda (Mikola, the winner) is my nearest competition and he will now have some advantage,” said Chandhok after the day’s performance.
The Indian built up a 3.5 second cushion by the seventh lap when the race was stopped after Jeffrey Lee of Champ Motorsport spun and left debris on the track.
That meant the Chennai-based driver lost his advantage over the others but he kept his cool to come up with another smooth get away at the restart and quickly pulled away from the contenders.
“I was thinking I would save the car for the rest when the race was stopped. But I knew I had the speed and it was a matter of first three corners,” said Chandhok.
The extra warm-up lap also put Chandhok and his team in a tight spot as they realised they might be short on fuel.